INTERESTING APPEAL DECISIONS
An appeal made against Stratford on Avon District Council by Bovis Homes Ltd for residential development of up to 84 dwellings has been allowed. The main issue was whether the layout would provide a suitable mix of housing due to the potential of over providing 4 and above bed dwellings and under provision of both 2 and 3 bed dwellings. The Inspector concluded that the appeal should be allowed after highlighting new conditions for a new mix of planned housing.
An appeal against Eastleigh Borough Council’s refusal of up to 70 dwellings in Hamble-le-Rice has been allowed. The planning application was refused for five reasons, but by the time of the Inquiry three had been resolved and were no longer contested by the council. The two remaining issues were the effect on character and appearance, sustainability of the location and safety of the pedestrian access route – with regard to proximity of and access to local services and facilities. The Inspector found that the countryside policies were out of step with national policy and could only be attributed limited weight. Whilst the impact on the outlook from some of the adjoining houses would be significantly changed, the Inspector concluded that this was not a matter of overriding significance. In terms of proximity to local facilities and safety of the access route, the Inspector noted that there is no policy requirement that a specific walking route should be acceptable, especially when other routes and transport modes exist. Furthermore, it was determined that the appeal site is sustainable in locational terms. Ultimately, the Inspector decided that the social and economic benefits of the scheme significantly outweighed the sustainability concerns and related landscape policies and the appeal was therefore allowed.
An appeal made by R Keene and Sons against the decision of Tewkesbury Borough Council to refuse 40 dwellings in Highnam, Gloucestershire has been dismissed by the Secretary of State. The appeal was originally refused due to the clear identified harm to the landscape and the resulting development plan policy conflict. The Inspector concluded that despite a beneficial contribution to the council’s 3.99 year supply, the adverse impacts of the proposal significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole. The Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector’s conclusions and subsequently dismissed the appeal.
An appeal made by Satnam Millennium Ltd against the decision of Warrington Borough Council to refuse outline planning permission for a new residential neighbourhood including 1,200 dwellings in Warrington has been dismissed by the Secretary of State. The appeal was originally refused due to the adverse impacts on the efficiency and safety of local and strategic networks and on local air quality. It is recognised that if the scheme were to be considered deliverable, it could provide up to 1,200 dwellings, of which 30% would be affordable. This would attract significant weight as the Council is unable to demonstrate a five year supply. However, the Inspector concluded that, as proposed, the scheme is not deliverable as the appellant a) does not have control of the entirety of the appeal site and b) does not appear to have support from a bus operator to run the proposed service through the site. The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s recommendations and subsequently dismissed the appeal.
An appeal made by Summix (Barnstaple) Developments LLP against the decision of North Devon District Council to refuse 43 dwellings in Barnstaple has been allowed. The Inspector viewed the issues of landscape, character and appearance to be outweighed by the fact that the proposed development is within the development boundary. After consideration the Inspector concluded the distance between the development and neighbours was sufficient to ensure privacy. With regard to agricultural land, the Inspector concluded that it has already been lost to development. In addition, outline permission has already been granted and the proposed site is located within the development boundary. The Inspector notes that the Highway Authority have not raised concerns over traffic or pedestrian safety. The Inspector is happy that the Section 106 obligations are sufficient. Thus, the Inspector concluded that the appeal should be allowed subject to the attached schedule of conditions.
The Inspector concluded that planning permission should be granted for a development of up to 140 dwellings by Persimmon in Chinnor, South Oxfordshire. The main issue noted is that the Inspector confirmed a 3 year and a 5 year housing land supply. Moreover, the proposal would provide much needed affordable housing and not have a significant visual impact despite being a greenfield site. The Inspector noted that there was a need for greenfield site usage here otherwise the Council would not reach their housing requirement, therefore the appeal was allowed.
An appeal made by The Perraton Family against the decision of South Hams District Council to refuse 8 dwellings in Frogmore was allowed. Despite being located beyond the settlement’s established development boundary and within the AONB, the Inspector found that in light of the modest scale of the scheme as well as its proposed mitigation measures any harm to the character and appearance of the AONB would be minimal. Furthermore, due to the Council’s current lack of five year housing land supply, weighing heavily in favour of the proposal, the Inspector concluded that the overall adverse impacts of the development would not outweigh the benefits and that the appeal be allowed.